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Reasons You Should Never Miss a Healthcare Appointment

It’s a fact of life that virtually no one likes or enjoys going to the doctor or nurse. Whatever your complaint, it’s always something we’d rather put off to another time if we can. From the waiting around for the doctor to be available, to the often depressing atmosphere of hospitals and other medical establishments, and to our fears of being told something is seriously wrong with us…no one wants to go to the doctor if they can avoid it.

Even when people secure appointments, they make excuses and cancel them. When looking at allied health client appointment scheduling, there has been data from around the world showing up to 40 percent or more of patients skip appointments. If you’ve ever done this, here are some reasons why you should never do it again in the future.

Reason 1: It’s Wasteful and Inconveniences Others

Hospitals, clinics and doctors’ offices base their preparation work in anticipation for who will be showing up on any particular day or during any particular week. When people decide to be no-shows, prepared resources might be wasted and not be able to be reused. Worst of all, the most precious resource of all is immediately wasted by no-shows — time.

If you don’t show up today, it’s safe to assume that you’ll want another appointment at another time. That means you are taking up space further down the line after having wasted space in the here and now, space that cannot be replaced. That robs other patients of opportunities for much-needed medical appointments.

Reason 2: Monitoring of Your Condition Falls Behind

If you miss scheduled appointments, especially for chronic or other lasting conditions, then you may miss a key milestone in the development of your illness, or the treatment of your illness. What if the doctor would have spotted something that day that could have been critical in judging what to do next. A worsened condition, for instance, might prompt you to be moved higher on a priority list for surgery. If you miss the appointment, then you’d never know that.

Reason 3: Appointments are Not Easy to Get

With an ageing population, it’s getting harder to secure appointments in local healthcare establishments, especially if you live in the suburbs or rural areas of the country. With appointments for elderly residents filling up more and more time slots, any appointment that you have was hard to get, and a replacement appointment might be even harder.

As we mentioned earlier, if you miss your own appointment, it’s very unlikely that the time will get filled with another patient. Walk-ins are possible, but less so in smaller communities and when you look at that nationwide, it’s thousands of hours lost to missed appointments every year. That’s time that doctors and nurses could be spending on saving lives.

Reason 4: Signs of Changes Needed to Treatment or Medication Can Be Missed

In our second reason, we talked about how your doctor might miss key developments and milestones in monitoring your condition. Another aspect to that is how missing an appointment could mean that you also miss out on important changes to your medications. This is especially relevant for those taking harsh medications, who would benefit from reductions in dosage, or even reaching a stage when that particular medication is no longer required. If you miss your appointments, you’ll never know that.

Reason 5: It’s Irresponsible

Finally, missing a medical appointment is simply irresponsible behaviour and doesn’t set a good example to your kids. Medical appointments are an important commitment that you have made, and if you’re using public healthcare systems, then they are also a valuable slot of time you have been given to use freely available healthcare resources. To renege on that is an irresponsible act, any way that you look at it.